Tom and the Fish He LOVES.

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I posted this on Instagram last night, along with the caption that I really thought Tom would grow up to have a career with sea life someday.

And I really do.

He knows so much.  And he’s always so eager to learn more.

We went to the Georgia Aquarium yesterday because Tom and Alice are on fall break.

(Because they need a break from the past two weeks?  Ha!  Anyway, I’m glad!  *I* wanted them back.)

He knows the aquarium so well. It’s his favorite.

He told me right away that he wanted to the see the whale shark first, and wanted to touch stingrays second.

(Stingrays were off exhibit, but he touched starfish and a sea sponge and was equally impressed.)

He LOVES it.

And his favorite show right now is an Amazon Prime instant watch show called Sea Rescue, about real-life rescues of sea creatures.

Ummm…he LOVES this show.  Wants to watch it all the time.

And when I tell him it’s time to stop watching it, he wants to reenact it.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve cut “fishing line” from his “fin” and then “given him antibiotics” put him in his “rehab pool” before “tagging him” and “releasing him back in the ocean.”

For real, y’all!

It’s hysterically awesome.  Like…he makes dolphin noises.  Or manatee noises.  Or baby whale noises.

(Hint: All hurt sea creature reenactment noises sound the same.)

So, I’m calling it now.

Tom is a future…something sea life-related.

Maybe a rescuer.

Maybe an “ocean scientist!” as he says.

Maybe an awesome dolphin actor.

(fingers crossed!)

No matter what, he’s going to be awesome at it.

He’s pretty awesome at it right now.

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Posted in Motherhood, Tom | Leave a comment

Picture Day.

Yesterday we had our family pictures taken.

Oh, how I have a love-hate relationship with these special things!

I go through many emotions when getting ready for picture day, and they go something like this:

1. Yay, we have a photographer scheduled!

2. I’m going to pick out super cute and comfy outfits for everyone!

3. Does everyone match?  But not match-match? Do we just “go together?”  Is this what Pinterest told me to do?

4. WHY DOES NO ONE MAKE NAVY BLUE SHOES?!

5. Where are all of Alice’s bows? I swear I bought her some! I will now make one using Pinterest and hot glue.

6.  I am really excited, and everyone has their outfits and shoes and it’s going to be painless!

5. Rain in the forecast.  Please don’t rain. I can’t go through this again!  I’m ready for today!

6. How does everyone feel about pictures today?  Kevin=not excited, but loves me and will do it.  Tom=not excited, probably won’t do it. Alice=excited, will totally do it.

7.  We’re going!  We’re dressed!  We match, but don’t match-match!  It’s happening!!

8.  I forgot my checkbook!  Do gas stations have ATMs? Are there gas stations around here?  How does the world work?!  I think I may be nervous.

9.  We’re here!  I know it’s a little crazy I didn’t trust Alice not to potty on her outfit in the car, thereby making her get ready *in* the car once we’ve arrived — but hey!  That’s the kind of crazy I’ve been reduced to.  (Also once we arrived? I may have made her potty in the portable potty that I brought with us before putting her tights on. No changes of clothes, Alice!  WE MUST MATCH SORT OF!)

10. The photographer is super nice.  And has that “I-will-totally-be-able-to-handle-your-crazy-kids” look about her. Yay!

11.  Tom will not stop making robot noises and putting his hands in his mouth, but he *is* trying!

12.  And now Tom has found a creek to throw rocks in and deer tracks and he’s in heaven!  And whenever I ask him to leave those things to pose for a picture, he TOTALLY DOES.  Score!

13.  Alice loves it!  For 10 minutes!  Now she wants to know why we’re torturing her this way.  And when she realizes no one will save her, she says the following in a 2-minute time span: “I’m hungry.”  “I’m tired.”  “I have to go poo.”

14. And we’re done!!  Hallelujah!  I’m so happy and I know they’re going to be beautiful!  Yay, life!  Let’s go to Dairy Queen!

15. (At Dairy Queen) Me: “Thank you guys SO much for being so awesome at picture day!  I really appreciate it and know they’re going to be awesome!  Love y’all!”  Tom: “LOVE you, too, Mom!  It’s the BEST DAY EVER!”  Alice: “I want french fries.”

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Posted in Baby Girl, Family, Motherhood, Tom | 7 Comments

Hello, San Antonio.

One of my best friends in the world, Robyn, moved to San Antonio about 6 months ago, and when she decided to make the move, I said I would definitely come visit.

And in August — it was time for that visit!

I was so excited to see her!  And spending an entire weekend with her was so awesome!

She was a wonderful hostess, and I had a great time.

LOVE having super cool friends!

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Reunited!

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River Walk! We ate dinner at a restaurant here — so fun!

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We walked over to see The Alamo.  And then I asked the question: “What’s The Alamo?”  Oh, Kevin would be so disappointed in me and my historical (non) knowledge…

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Robyn signed us up for a painting class Saturday night. I’m not an artist.  Like…at all.  And this was super fun!  I loved it.

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Robyn loved it, too.

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You’re welcome to go for a walk in mine, but watch out! There’s a storm brewin’!  Isn’t Robyn’s great?!  I thought hers was awesome.

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Goodbye, San Antonio!  (I think I see Robyn down there waving at me.)

LOVE.

Posted in Friends, Travel | 4 Comments

Potty “Training” Alice.

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Last week, when I picked Alice up from school, her teacher said that Alice had once again refused to have her diaper changed by anyone.

(I find this funny.  Isn’t that terrible?  Sorry!)

She just absolutely didn’t trust anyone in there to change it, I guess!

You have to earn diaper-changing privileges with Alice.

It worked out perfectly since while she was at school that day, I had gone out to buy her some big girl underwear.

So instead of waiting for the weekend to potty train her, I started on a Wednesday.

When she woke up that morning, I showed her the undies (she was STOKED!) and told her the plan — that she’d use the potty.

She was very excited.

And when I put her on it, she totally did it!  Success!!

She had a couple accidents after that, but she immediately knew it was wrong and would say, “Uh-oh!  I had an accident!”

After the accidents, I decided to do the timer thing for a bit – it’s the method I strictly used with Tom – and just means I’d sit her on the potty every 20 minutes.

And that worked once, but then she just kept telling me she didn’t need to go, so that method didn’t work for her.

But it didn’t need to work for her — because she got it on her own!

She had 5 accidents that first morning.  Then she took a nap.

And then she had NO ACCIDENTS.

Day two?  NO ACCIDENTS!  (And on Day 2, she was at school — no accidents!)

Day three?  Accidents again, but only because she kept forgetting to pull her undies down!  She’d sit on the potty, but forget the pants part.  Ha!

Since then, she’s had about one accident a day — but only so much as she starts to go, then realizes she needs the potty — so they’re more like 1/2 accidents.

Bottom line is:  I didn’t really train her.  She totally trained herself.

She knew exactly what to do!

She loves to put stickers on her potty chart.

She loves to get a piece of chocolate after every success or try.

She is such a big girl and I seriously couldn’t be more proud.

(And we haven’t stayed home at all — we’ve gone on trips, to stores, to restaurants and she’s been good!)

Really, really impressed with my big girl.

And she told me today that she wants to call her undies, “panties.”

“I like panties! Let’s call them panties, k?”

You’re the boss, little one!  Panties it is!

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Posted in Baby Girl, Motherhood | 2 Comments

Waterfalls and Pumpkins.

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Saturday morning we woke up (late) and decided to go to Amicalola Falls State Park!

Kevin and I love this state park, but we hadn’t been there in ages!

(Tom went once when he was a wee one, but Alice had not.)

We got there around lunch time, ate a picnic by the water, and then the kids splashed in the water for awhile.

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Tom thought it was the most amazing, awesome thing in the world to do.

Alice was busy climbing rocks.

She would climb down, put her feet in, and immediately climb back up and announce to a sweet couple sitting on a bench that she “DID IT!!”

They made the mistake of clapping and cheering the first time, not realizing Alice will totally do anything for claps and cheers — including doing that exact thing 22 more times.

(Those lucky fools!)

She was thrilled.

After that, we walked over to check out the waterfall from the top!

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They were sufficiently impressed.

Then Tom wanted to walk down the steps.

Amicalola Falls has 462 steps if you want to walk it, so you can see the entire waterfall.

So I told Tom, “Sure!” and I walked him down about…40 steps, before walking back up and saying, “Hey, you know what?  Let’s drive down there!”

(Dear Tom: I will let you walk the steps when I truly believe you will walk them by yourself down and up.  LOVE, Mom.)

So we drove to the bottom, looked at the top of the falls through a telescope, walked the trail for a bit, and watched people catch fish.

Our legs were thrilled with our decision.

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Alice saw this rock and immediately wanted to sit on it.  And then she wanted to do no more hiking.  Apparently she only came on this trip to find this big sitting rock, and then she was done. And happy.

Since our kids aren’t exactly long-hikes ages, we decided to call it a day and we headed across the street to Tom’s idea of heaven — Burt’s Pumpkin Farm.

I’ve been to this pumpkin farm before — in October — and it was the craziest kind of crowded I have ever, ever seen.  Ever!!  Like…we had to park a mile away.  Crazy!

It is a really cool farm, with hay rides, and funnel cakes and every type of pumpkin out there, including awesomely huge ones and it is totally amazing.  Truly.

I saw that it opened on Labor Day, so I thought we could check it out since Tom loves all things Halloween.

When Tom saw it, I really think he heard angels singing.

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He walked right in and immediately started checking out all the “spooky things.”  LOVE.

He loved it.  Alice loved it.

And if you go on September 6th…you are the only people there!

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Alice didn’t know what to run to first! So much to see! So many places to run!

Tom ran to all the huge pumpkins first.  Talking about them, trying to pick out a good one.

He asked Kevin if he could have one, and Kevin wisely said maybe we could keep looking and find one we’d be able to actually pick up.  Ha!  And that was all he needed to say for Tom to take off and find one he could pick up.

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Success! This is the face of the happiest boy in the world.

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Daddy could pick up this one, so we let him bring it home.

Tom picked out miniature pumpkins for everyone.

(“We’re gonna paint these at home!!  I want mine to look like a monster!!  Or a ghost!  Or a witch!!”)

He pointed out all the pumpkins and gourds to Alice.

He was just going 100 miles per hour and it was hysterically awesome.

And Alice?

Well…she tried to pick one up…

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Oops.

…And when that didn’t work out, she went to Plan B: RUNNING SOME MORE!!

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Yay!!

It was a really great time.

It was really fun to see how happy they were to see the pumpkins — and how totally thrilled Tom was with it all.

(And Kevin was thrilled to get pumpkin rolls and cold apple ciders for us all, because they are his favorites and he couldn’t wait for the kids to try it — they loved it!)

It was a super fun way to celebrate the beginning of FALL!

(Doesn’t matter that it was 90 degrees. Totally doesn’t.)

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It was a happy day.

Happy Fall, y’all!  Have a great week, LOVES!

Posted in Baby Girl, Family, Kevin, Motherhood, Tom, Travel | 6 Comments

LOVE And Puppet Theater.

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Things I love about Alice’s puppet theater…

1. It’s made from fabric I found at my Grandmother’s house after she passed away.  I love that it’s re-purposed, and I love where it’s from.  And I like to think my Grandmother thinks it’s cool too.

2. Alice loves it.  It’s one of her most favorite things.  She loves to put on puppet shows, but she also just loves to use it as a window.  She like for me to throw things in there, and for her to get them and throw them back.  We have all sorts of silly little games that we play with this.  It’s really fun to see her imagination at work.

3. It was really easy to make.  It is fabric that I cut to fit our doorway (she is in the doorway to our playroom) and I just hot glued the top and bottom around cheap, adjustable curtain rods. (I think they’re about $3.)  I added another curtain rod to the middle, to keep the window opening straight.  I hot glued felt (but ribbon would work) around the window opening.  Curtains are hot glued.  And I hot glued ribbon on there to hold the curtains back when in use (not seen here, because Alice loves to close the curtains).  Also?  I can’t sew.  Did you guess that? HOT GLUE.

4. Her latest puppet show was about how “Santa” was going to give the princess a present, but he was lost.  Luckily Tom swooped in with a dragon puppet to help Santa get back to the North Pole.  Stuff like that?  LOVE.

5. Is there anything cuter than little girl feet peeking out from under a puppet show?  I think not.

 

Posted in Baby Girl, Crafts, LOVE and, Motherhood, Tom | 4 Comments

Stone Mountain Park.

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The weekend before the kids had their first day of school, we woke up on Saturday and decided to visit Stone Mountain Park.

It was a spur-of-the-moment, last-minute decision without any planning at all.

And it was awesome.

Have you ever had one of those days where every single thing you decide to do at a new place just happens to be right?

That’s what happened.

We got in the right ticket lines. We walked right on to the SkyRide. We met the nicest people on top of the mountain.  We went to a great lunch spot with no line.  And after lunch, the train was just sitting there waiting for us.

It was just an insanely awesome day that I couldn’t have planned to work out like that.

But it did.

(Woo!)

The kids had the best time.  They were totally in awe of Stone Mountain.

We took the SkyRide to the top (and then later, back down again) this time.

I was a little nervous *they* would be a little nervous — but, no!  They’re brave!

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View out of the SkyRide!  So neat!

It all happened so fast (the getting of tickets, and then walking right on) that I’m not even sure my kids knew we would end up on top of a mountain!

Once we were up there, Tom said to me nervously, “I think I’m gonna hold your hand.  Don’t let go.”

And then about 45 seconds later…

“Okay, you can let go now.”

He was good to go after he saw what it was, and that he wasn’t going to fall off.

Ha!

And Alice?

She immediately started running up there.  RUNNING!

Like, I’m running behind her saying Mom things like, “Slow down! Don’t run!  Be careful!  See that fence?  Don’t climb it!”

She totally LOVED it.

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She’s literally climbing Stone Mountain.  We’d been up there about 3 minutes at this point.  LOVED!

It was really, really fun and neat to be up there with the kids!

They just thought it was the best.

They were pointing out water towers, and the city, and all sorts of things.  They were fascinated.

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I asked Alice to pose and she came up with this gem. Love.

There are some small pools of water up there from rain — and they have teeny shrimp swimming in them.  Isn’t that totally bizarre?!  The kids loved that.

And someone had set up some rocks in one of the pools, that were clearly placed so you could walk across them without getting wet.

Tom wanted to try it.

And then he thought out every step.  Taking his time.

He was timid sometimes, and wanted help, but Kevin just kept encouraging him to try it.

And he did it!  With only a little bit of wet shoe.

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After Tom did it, Alice said she wanted to try it, and I said okay.

I put her on the first rock, prepared to help her by holding her hands and stuff.

Umm…no.

She took off.

*I* almost fell in trying to keep up with her!

She just jumped from rock to rock until she was done in about 30 seconds and then said, “Again!”

That brave girl!

(So yeah, I didn’t have time to get a photo of her.  I didn’t have time to do anything!)

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It was an absolutely wonderful time!

I kinda wanted to stay up there all day, but the kids were starving and apparently gummy snacks is not “lunch” so we headed back down the mountain on the SkyRide to find some food.

Once we were back at the bottom, we walked across the laser show field to have lunch in the train depot area.

And as we were walking, I innocently asked Alice if she could run up ahead of me so I could take a picture of her in front of the mountain’s carving.

And wouldn’t you know it, that girl ran and ran and ran and RAN!

I was running after her.  I was saying, “Alice!  You can stop!  Stop!  You can stop Alice!”

And then I just gave up and laughed.

It was just a great moment.  And so very Alice.

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There she goes! She didn’t stop until she reached a fence.  Seriously.

We ate lunch at the train depot.  Tom loved it because they had a model train that went around the ceiling, and one of the employees very kindly showed him where the button was, so Tom could push it to start it.

And he pushed it.  Over and over and over.  Tom was the only one in there who knew where the button was — and he knew it — so he took his job very seriously.

(Side note in case you want to visit: Food prices there are like Disney food prices.  So…you’ve been warned!)

After lunch, the Scenic Railroad train was just pulling up (it rolls through about every 30-40 minutes) so we boarded the train which took us around the bottom of the mountain, while a video told us about the history.

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This boy loves trains!  We spent a lot of time looking for caterpillar nests in the woods during this ride.

It was really fun, and the kids really liked it.

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This is their “we love train rides” silly face selfie.  Obviously.

After the train ride, we had to head back home.

And man, did the kids really not want to do that!

They just had so much fun!

We walked through a little village area on our way out that had restaurants and shops, and one of the restaurants had this super fun “creek” for kids to play in.  How neat is that?

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Splashin’.

The kids just adored this!  They splashed for a long time, until we had to (sadly) take them out.

But they had an absolute blast!

We only stayed for half a day (we got there around 10 a.m. and left around 1:30-2), but it felt like a full and really exciting day.

Kevin and I hadn’t been to Stone Mountain since we’ve had children, and we both agreed that we were so glad we did this.

The kids thought it was the most amazing place in the world.

And Kevin and I had a wonderful time, too.

It was an absolutely wonderful way to spend our last summer weekend together.

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Posted in Baby Girl, Family, Kevin, Motherhood, Tom, Travel | 2 Comments